How to Become a Special Events Director

If you love event planning and love the corporate world, you may want to become a special events director. Special events directors often work with companies to create seminars, holiday events and team-building retreats.

How to Become a Special Events Director

Special events directors may begin in the areas of event planning, wedding planning or similar.

What Is a Special Events Director?

The role of special events director will vary depending on the company that you work for and the industry that you are in. Special events directors within non-profit agencies will usually need to create fundraisers, galas and fairs that are focused on bringing in donations to their agency.

Special events directors within large corporations are usually focused more on holiday preparations and special bonus celebrations.

Special events directors usually need to work within the confines of a budget and the direction of the company to create an event that is spectacular but cost-effective. Special events directors may also work on their own on a consulting basis and may either be self-employed or work with a special events planning company.

Many directors will forge relationships with vendors so they can negotiate lower rates and get better contracts for catering, decorations and more. Special events directors need to be very personable and very conscientious as they will need to juggle many things. The area of event planning is expected to grow much faster than average by O*Net Online.

What Does a Special Events Director Do?

Bachelor's Degree
Less than 1 year
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

A special events director is usually aware in advance what items need to be discussed throughout the year. The director is usually given a budget and given certain projects that are held on an annual basis and may be given additional projects that come up in a time-sensitive fashion.

The special events director will then plan out the entire event based on the specifications and budget they are given. Sometimes the director may need to work directly with their supervisor to get the budget extended or to clarify information.

Directors may be called upon to produce accurate financial statements and to show that the fundraiser or event raised money or used an appropriate amount of funds. Special events directors need to organize everything in a timely fashion and may not always work a standard 40 hour work week.

They need to juggle many different things and need to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. Many events may be attended by hundreds or even thousands of people, and some of the events can be critical for the funding of an organization such as a charity.

How Do You Become a Special Events Director?

Special events directors may begin in the areas of event planning, wedding planning or similar. Caterers may also be considered a related field. Special events directors may not have a degree, or may have a business degree if they run their own company.

Overall, many special events directors have skills they have built up in a past industry. Those that work directly for a special events company may be hired on an entry level basis.

Directors of special events usually have at least a few years of experience in the relevant industry or may have experience with the company itself. Often, they may act as an assistant before becoming a director within the field. However, many directors of special events do not have assistants or have a very small staff. Though the field is one of director, it is largely more simple than traditional director positions.

How Do You Advance as a Special Events Director?

Special events directors will be able to advance if they prove they can meet both expectations and budget. Directors that want to make more money can often do so by becoming self-employed and starting their own companies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that some related fields are meeting, convention and events planning.

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